Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey talks preserving Austin culture on Joe Rogan podcast

Academy-award winning actor Matthew McConaughey explains his goals for Austin, in his role as the minister of culture of the University of Texas, and what it means to be an Austinite on Joe Rogan's podcast.


While both celebrities live in Austin, McConaughey was recently on the podcast virtually after Rogan announced one of his producers had contracted COVID-19. McConaughey was brought on to discuss his latest project "Greenlights," a memoir compiled from a lifetime of journals.

Joe Rogan Experience #1552 - Matthew McConaughey www.youtube.com

In the conversation between the Austinites, McConaughey said he is focused on his role as minister of culture, which he described as being about reminding people why they love Austin and initiating and educating newcomers on the city.

A UT alumnus and current professor at the university, McConaughey named himself minister of culture last year. Also involved with Austin culture outside of the university, he is a co-owner of Austin's first Major League Soccer team, Austin FC.

When Rogan moved to Austin this summer, McConaughey welcomed him, he said on the podcast. The two also had a conversation about how not to change the unique city of Austin.

Rogan asked the actor what newcomers should not do when they come to Austin, as not to tarnish the city for what it is. McConaughey said that newcomers have to pay a tithe in the form of being fair and taking accountability.

"It's not what Austin can do for you, it's what you can do for Austin," he said. "The rule in Austin is all you have to do is be yourself."

McConaughey believes Austin is about celebrating differences, but there are social contracts for people to be good to one another.

"We look ahead, but we appreciate tradition at the same time; we take care as much as we can of our natural beauties around here but at the same time we're metropolis, we're growing up," he said. "Now, how can we grow up, grow wide and still grow deep? That's what I want to lean into."

Matthew McConaughey featured on the cover of People Magazine… in a photo taken by his kids (Matthew McConaughey/Instagram)
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